Giacomo Menegus

Remarks on the first interim suspension (Order No. 4 of 2021) of a regional law by the Constitutional Court (and on the follow- ing Judgment No. 37 of 2021)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: interim suspension of a regional law, COVID-19 pandemic, State-Region legislative competence on response to pandemic crisis, Region, Valle d’Aosta.

The complex relations between the central State and Regions were a major issue in the Italian response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Judgment No. 37 of 2021 the Italian Constitutional Court struck down several provisions of a Valle d’Aosta Region law, stating that the constitutional system prohibits the use of regional laws to interfere with regulation established by the State in the area of «international prophylaxis». Previously, the Court also suspended the same regional law, ordering an interim relief for the first time since 2003 (Order No. 4 of 2021). The paper focuses first on the interim order, addressing the procedural issues arising from that decision. Then, it examines with a critical approach the concept of «interna-tional prophylaxis» on which the Court based its final decision. The conclusion is that the Court revisited this concept in a way that is not fully consistent with the constitutional text and its previous case-law. In addition, even though the end purpose of the Court to ensure uniformity at the national level in the response to the pandemic is understandable, there are doubts that a State-level competence in this area could prevent further conflicts between the central State and Regions.

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